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EuroScholars News

University in the Spotlight: University of Geneva


  • Throughout more than 450 years of history, the University of Geneva (UNIGE) has represented excellence in research and higher education.
  • Today, with 16'000 students from over 140 different nationalities, it is Switzerland’s second largest and most international university.
  • It is a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and of other international networks such as the Coimbra Group.
  • Education and research at the University of Geneva are conducted in eight faculties: Science, Medicine, Arts, Social Science and Economics, Law, Psychology and Educational Science, Theology, Translation and Interpretation.
  • The University of Geneva offers more than 280 degrees and more than 250 Continuing Education programs covering an extremely wide variety of fields including exact sciences, medicine and the humanities.
  • The University of Geneva is continuously strengthening its ties with the international and nongovernmental organizations established in Geneva, such as the United Nations Organization (UN).
  • The University of Geneva’s buildings are spread across the city, thus ensuring a strong link between student and city life; some research centers are located in the countryside or near the shores of Lake Geneva.

UNESCO Chair at the University of Geneva

On November 19th, 2012, the University of Geneva launched the first ever UNESCO Chair in international law of the protection of cultural property. This Chair will reinforce the role of the University in areas such as the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural goods, the question of States’ ownership of their archeological heritage or the restitution of cultural property spoliated during wars.

10th Anniversary of Swiss Membership in the United Nations

To mark the 10th anniversary of the accession of Switzerland to the United Nations, the University of Geneva in collaboration with several partners of the International Geneva is organizing a series of conferences, seminars and cultural activities.

These events began on September 10th, 2012, the anniversary of Swiss memberships in the UN, with the public conference delivered by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Swiss Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Burkhalter The conference addressed the challenges the UN is facing and examined the role of Switzerland in the UN and in international issues.

For over 100 years, Switzerland has been home to many international organizations. The University of Geneva is steeped in this international environment. The University of Geneva is strengthening and intensifying even further its partnerships and privileged bonds with IOs/NGOs. We have an active policy that provides encouragement to International Geneva and easier access to our scientific expertise. Traineeships are offered at the IOs/NGOs to the top university students or priority partners.

Two research projects treat UN-related subjects:

Professor Øystein Fischer awarded the Kamerlingh Onnes Prize

For his exceptional contributions in the field of superconductivity, Professor Øystein Fischer was awarded the 2012 Kamerlingh Onnes Award during a Conference held in Washington, DC.

Created in 1999 to honor Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, recipient of the Nobel prize in physics in 1913, this important distinction is awarded every three years for outstanding contributions to the development of superconductivity.

Professor Øystein Fischer is the founder and director of the Swiss National Center of Competence in Research MaNEP (Materials with novel electronic properties), a center dedicated to research on the electronic materials of future.

Three research projects are linked to the field of superconductivity:

UNIGE Professor named President of the Human Genome organization

Professor Stylianos Antonarakis, Director of the UNIGE Department of Medical Genetics, was named President of the Human Genome Organization (HUGO). He will occupy this role starting at the Human Genome Meeting in Singapore in April 2013. The mandate lasts four years and is renewable twice.
HUGO was conceived in 1988 at the first meeting on genome mapping and sequencing at Cold Spring Harbor. Victor McKusick was asked to serve as founding president. The organization investigates the nature, structure, function and interaction of the genes, genomic elements and genomes of humans. HUGO has evolved from a small targeted meeting into a mega scientific conference for all genetic and genomic researchers.

HUGO provides an arena for presentation and discussion of more focused studies in human genetics. As a truly international organization and an important broker of ideas and strategies in the field of human genetics and genomics, HUGO has taken enormous efforts to concentrate on playing a major role in the genetics and genomics research.

Geneva Launched a New Institute for Molecular Imaging

UNIGE, together with the University of Lausanne and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), announced the creation of a center dedicated to the study of the brain. The name of the project is Neuropolis. It will strengthen the skills of participating institutions in the field of neurosciences. An Institute for Molecular Imaging will be established at UNIGE, in collaboration with the Geneva University Hospital and the EPFL.

The activities of the new Institute will concentrate on neurological imaging applied to fields such as chronic and neurodegenerative diseases and ageing. Research led in connection with existing clinical programs should lead to medical applications in the treatment of cancers, neurodegenerative or cardiovascular diseases. The techniques of molecular imaging are an important sector for the future development of medicine.

Two research projects are linked to the methods of neuroimaging:

Student’s Perspective on the Fall 2012 MidStay Program  in Geneva

Patrick Boynton, The Pennsylvania State University, University of Geneva

When Usha Mohunlol, Coordinator European office EuroScholars program, emailed us the Midstay location last June, I remember thinking, “More Geneva. More of the same.”


The two-day Midstay program was anything but just another two days in Geneva. As we walked through the city I had already called my home for three months, I saw my semester anew: Switzerland through Professor Fall’s humorous commentary; Geneva through Dr. Baumgartner’s walking tour; and EuroScholars through my fellow students’ experiences.

We traded stories of Dutch bikes and Swiss trains, shared explorations in Brussels and Munich, our quirky host universities and our far-flung home universities, and – of course – our EuroScholars projects. My colleagues impressed with presentations on cartilage regeneration and sleep rhythms. My own project was bereft of MRI machines and petri dishes, but maybe I interested someone in E.U. development strategy. We shared, we explored and we connected.

The Midstay was a tremendous experience – I only wish that those two days could have taken place sooner and lasted longer!

In This Edition:

Learn more about EuroScholars

Site Visit Update

The EuroScholars Program and GlobaLinks Learning Abroad are offering a site visit to Munich, Leuven and Stockholm March 16-24, 2013. Ludwig-Maximilians University, University of Leuven and Karolinska Institute will host the group of Honors and Study Abroad professionals. For more information contact info@euroscholars.eu.

MidStay Spring 2013

The Spring 2013 MidStay program will be organized by KU Leuven and has been scheduled for the week of March 20th .

Pictures from the Fall 2012 MidStay Program

Upcoming Conferences

  • AIEA (Association of International Education Administrators): February 17 - 20, 2013 in New Orleans, LA.
  • NCUR (National Conferences on Undergraduate Research): April 11 - 13, 2013 at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
  • NAFSA: May 26 - 31, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri
  • EAIE: September 10 - 13, 2013, Istanbul (Turkey)

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